Damien O’Brien, currently based in Zurich, is the Chairman of Egon Zehnder. Since joining the firm in 1988, he has worked in its Hong Kong, London, Sydney, and Paris offices. Damien’s leadership roles have included oversight of the global industry and functional practices and responsibility for operations and professional development worldwide. In a client-facing capacity, he has mainly been active in the Private Equity Practice and the Board Advisory, although today he spends most of his time visiting clients and colleagues across the firm’s 68 offices worldwide. Damien played a key role in developing the firm’s Leadership Assessment and Development Practice and, earlier in his career, led the establishment of Egon Zehnder’s China Practice.
I’m passionate about supporting our clients and candidates on their personal journeys and energized by working with a truly global team characterized by seamless collaboration and endless respect.
Damien served as Egon Zehnder’s CEO from 2008 until 2014, when he appointed Rajeev Vasudeva to succeed him. He was elected to his current role as Chairman in 2010. Damien is a member of the chairman’s community of the World Economic Forum and sits on the foundation and supervisory boards of the IMD Business School. Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Damien was an Associate at McKinsey in Australia. Earlier, he held various management positions in a family-owned corporate group in Australia.
Damien holds an MBA from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales. He also earned a Diploma in Theology and Philosophy from Saint Columban’s College in Sydney, which included two years of study and community work in the Philippines.